Dogs can eat peanut butter, so we tend to assume that it is safe for them to eat peanuts and other nuts like cashews, too. This is not necessarily the case. Some nuts, like macadamia nuts, are toxic to dogs. Others, like cashews, are generally safe—as long as you follow a few basic guidelines.
Risks of Feeding Cashews to Dogs
While cashews are non-toxic, there are some risks associated with feeding these tasty nuts to our canine companions.
The most important thing owners should look out for when feeding a new treat to their dogs is the symptoms of an allergic reaction. These symptoms include swelling, itching, and hives. While the chances of your dog developing an allergic reaction to cashews is relatively low, knowing the symptoms of an allergic reaction is important when giving your dog any new treat for the first time.
Cashews are a high fat, high protein snack. This poses potential problems for dogs, if they are fed cashews in large numbers. High fat diets can lead to pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires the immediate attention of a veterinarian.
Fatty foods also contribute to obesity. Regularly feeding foods like cashews to your dog increases your dog’s chances of gaining weight and developing obesity-related problems, such as diabetes and joint issues, and can even reduce your dog’s lifespan.
The largest risk comes from other nuts. Cashews are often sold in variety packs and containers, especially around the holiday season. This poses a health hazard for your dog, as some nuts, like macadamia nuts, are very toxic. Nuts can also cause obstructions and choking hazards. This is especially problematic in small dogs, but larger nuts are dangerous for large breeds, as well.
The Verdict: Can Dogs Eat Cashews?
To make a long story short, yes, dogs can eat cashews, as long as they are roasted and not salted or seasoned in any way. They may not be the best snack for your pup, but a cashew now and then probably won’t hurt him.
If you decide to feed cashews to your dog, remember to offer them in very small quantities, and don’t feed cashews to dog on a regular basis. If you have more questions about feeding cashews or other human foods to your dog, talk to your veterinarian.